Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight, released the following statement today regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) newly-release report:
“Today’s IPCC report confirms what Oregonians—many of whom are preparing for another spike into the triple digits this week, and are struggling through another unprecedented wildfire season—already know. Climate chaos is here, and it’s costing lives and livelihoods.
“It’s clear from this report that we aren’t doing nearly enough to tackle this emergency, and the reason is no surprise. Time and time again, the powerful and the privileged—who care more about the bottom lines of fossil fuel companies than the health and well-being of our families and our economies—have called the shots in Congress. They’ve killed legislation that would deliver climate solutions and make our communities safer, and tried to convince the American people that addressing the climate crisis is too expensive—that this crisis can wait. They’re wrong.
“With every passing day, we are speeding closer and closer to a reality where: fires like the Bootleg fire are the norm; more people die from heat-related illnesses and more powerful storms; and where the changing climate undermines the pillars of our rural economy—farming, forests, and fishing. A failure to mitigate those dire consequences would be an utter failure by Congress to represent the best interests of the American people. We can’t let that happen—and must come together immediately to put those interests ahead of fossil fuel executives’ wish lists, and transition away from the dangerous fossil fuels that got us into this mess in the first place.
“But that alone won’t be enough. My hope is that this report will also translate into strong commitments from the international community at the UN Climate Change Conference in November—and that the United States steps up to do its fair share. I’m going to do all that I can to ensure that happens, while we still have a shot at avoiding the very worst of climate chaos’ impacts.”
Today’s report is the first of three installments that will comprise the IPCC’s sixth complete report, and is the culmination of the work of over 200 scientists from around the globe.